Thursday, March 19, 2009

What Delhi-6 made me feel like

People are still talking about how bad Delhi-6 was, so I thought of putting down my own experience here. I was reminded of this story after watching the movie:

[Close up of my face, narrating, as the screen dissolves into the past, and sitar-type music plays]

When I lived in Trivandrum, my parents joined up this organization of North Indians, called Sangam. We'd all meet every Holi and Diwali, some folks would put up a cultural show, and everyone would eat chewy puris and aloo subzi and other 'North Indian' food, then go home.

One year, the Cultural Secretary was this irritating guy who could turn any conversation into a sermon. He turned himself into the emcee of the evening. After the mandatory Ganpati prayer, he strode onto stage and announced a 'surprise contest'. The winner, he said, would get an 'interesting prize'.

A few naive folks perked up at this. Irritating Guy (I.G. for short), ushered a little girl into stage, and said, "This young lady has recently joined Sangam. I invite her to sing a song for you." The kid began singing - in Bengali.

After it was over, I.G. continued, "Now, I would like to challenge you all to guess where this young lady comes from. She just sang a Bengali song - she will sing some more songs soon."
After a couple of other skits, the girl came back, and sang a Marathi song. Then, later on, a Gujarati song.

I.G. carried a big box wrapped in shiny gift-wrap onto the stage, and said, "Please put in your name, and your guess as to what this lady is, onto a chit and put it into this box. The winner will get an interesting prize."

I was already annnoyed with the whole thing by this time, so I slipped off with my friends and played at cops-and-robbers in the parking lot. We could hear the sound from the hall from here, though.

The girl came once or twice more, to sing in two other languages. Then I.G. was back, "Only ten minutes more, friends! Please put in your guesses as to whether she is Marathi, Bengali, Gujarati, or something else, and win a prize!"

One of my friends wanted to put in a chit. The rest of us were already finding something fishy about it, and didn't go.

Half an hour later, after the mandatory satiric Hindi skit and the folk dance, I.G. began again. "I have looked through your entries, friends! And I am sad to say, NONE of you got it right! You have all written Gujarati or Marathi. You have all turned this poor girl into a local person! She is not any of those, she is only an Indian, a Hindustani! It is this kind of thinking that is dividing our country! we must be together, friends, and not let these petty things divide us! We must consider ourselves Indians first and foremost! Repeat after me: JAI HIND!"

The response that followed was rather more muted than expected. But a few second later, an angry buzzing broke out from the audience. They had expected something stupid, but this was clearly even worse. I.G. got dozens of angry looks that evening during the puri-aloo-sabzi party. I overheard several people promise to each other that they wouldn't be voting for this guy to organize anything, ever again. I.G. probably never knew what he'd done wrong.

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And that, ladies and gents, is the exact same feeling I had when I watched Delhi-6.

5 comments:

Kabir said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Sudarshan said...

Kabir,
1. My post wasn't a review.
2. You're pretty desperate to get hits to your site, aren't you? :) One helpful hint, both for you and ROM: Content is what brings the viewers in.

kk said...

That's pretty funny! Reminds me of this BRILLIANT review of Rajnikant's baba ( u will see the connection when the train hits you)

http://netropolis.in/silklist/msg07189.html

Pleiades said...

Haha! Rakeysh Aumprakash Mehra might just take the story seriously, if he read it.

- Sarika

japinder said...

Haha.....really nice way of putting it. I too was really irked by the Kaala Bandar overdose.